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Episode A Royal Problem
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Twilight Sparkle: [strained gasping]
Starlight Glimmer: I know! I can't believe it either! The map has never called me before!
Spike: I'm sure that's not why she looks... like that.
Twilight Sparkle: [babbles] Actually, it is. Well, it's that and the fact that you're being called to the royal palace! I mean, what in Equestria could be going on there?! You want me to come with you?! No. I shouldn't. The map just called you for a reason, right? Heh. Though maybe it's a mistake. Not because of you! Because it's never called just one of us before. [nervous chuckle]
Starlight Glimmer: I also wasn't nervous before, but now...
Twilight Sparkle: Don't worry. For all we know, it's something small. Like maybe the cooks are fighting over who has the best butternut squash soup. Or the royal hairdressers are fighting over a comb.
Spike: Or, you know, maybe the royal sisters aren't seeing eye-to-eye on something.
Twilight Sparkle: No! That's just crazy! Luna and Celestia would never fight. [beat] Again.
Princess Celestia: So the map sent you to solve a friendship problem?
Starlight Glimmer: Yes, princess.
Princess Celestia: Well, there's nothing wrong here. Right, sister?
Princess Luna: [sourly] No. Everything's perfect as usual, sister.
[theme song]
[door opens]
[door closes]
Starlight Glimmer: [groans]
Twilight Sparkle: Psst! Pssst!
[music box playing]
Starlight Glimmer: Twilight? Is that you? How are you here?
Twilight Sparkle: [quickly] I'm not. I'm still home. It's an easy spell. I'll show you later. Anyway, enough about me. I had to check on you. Not in a meddling kind of way! In a friendly "how's it going?" kind of way. So, how's it going?
Starlight Glimmer: [sighs] Not great. I think the problem might be between Celestia and Luna.
Twilight Sparkle: Oh, no, that's terrible! I mean, what makes you say that?
Starlight Glimmer: You know how some ponies say nothing's wrong but you can tell something's definitely wrong?
Twilight Sparkle: [nervously] Noooooo... Heh.
Starlight Glimmer: That's basically what the princesses did when I said there was a friendship problem. Only they did it more, you know, regally.
Twilight Sparkle: Oh, I wish I could help you, but I can't – both for map reasons and because I have no idea! This is big! Like, really big! But I'm here if you ever need to talk. Or listen to music.
[music box playing]
Twilight Sparkle: Heh. Comforting, right?
Starlight Glimmer: [groans]
Starlight Glimmer: Thank you so much for breakfast, princess. I can't believe you cook it yourself.
Princess Celestia: Of course, Starlight! I really enjoy doing it. It's a small way to say I care.
[door opens]
Princess Celestia: Good morning, sister! Join us?
Princess Luna: [sourly] Too tired. [chomp] Please excuse me.
Starlight Glimmer: Wow. Last night must've been really hard on her.
Princess Celestia: [sighs] Perhaps. But she is like this every morning.
Starlight Glimmer: So I think Luna may be hurting her sister's feelings without even realizing it.
Twilight Sparkle: Poor Celestia. That's so sweet that she makes her sister pancakes every morning.
Starlight Glimmer: She's your mentor. I think you might be biased.
Twilight Sparkle: Fair enough. So what are you gonna do?
Starlight Glimmer: Nothing, yet. I have to get all the facts. I asked Luna if I could spend some time with her this evening.
[knock, knock, knock]
[door opens]
Guard: Princess Luna's waiting for you, miss.
Starlight Glimmer: [chuckling nervously]
Twilight Sparkle: Good luck, Starlight!
Guard: [surprised whinny]
[door closes]
Starlight Glimmer: Wow, Princess Luna. You do this every night?
Princess Luna: Lavender's calming scent is known to aid dreamers in achieving a restorative sleep.
Starlight Glimmer: [sniffs] That's so thoughtful!
Princess Luna: I try my best to make sure the ponies in this castle sleep peacefully.
[door opens]
Fleur De Verre: And so, then I said, "Touring? More like 'boring'!" [airy laughter]
Princess Celestia: [laughs] Oh, you really are a card!
Princess Luna: [sighs] But as always, my sister is too busy having fun with dignitary ponies to acknowledge anything I do. Hmph!
Starlight Glimmer: So, both princesses are hurting each other without realizing it. And instead of talking about it, they're just getting colder and more distant.
Twilight Sparkle: And they're Celestia and Luna. So it's not like you can just confront them.
Starlight Glimmer: Actually, that's exactly what I was gonna do.
Twilight Sparkle: What?! Are you crazy?! I mean, heh, you do whatever you think is best. This is your mission.
Starlight Glimmer: [sarcastically] Gee, thanks for believing in me, Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: I do. But the last time the princesses fought, Luna turned into Nightmare Moon, and Princess Celestia had to banish her for a thousand years! That can't happen again!
Starlight Glimmer: Well, I can't do nothing. The princesses aren't the best at communicating with each other.
Twilight Sparkle: [gasps] Sorry. It's just, you said "princesses" and "aren't the best" in the same sentence, and it's making me nervous!
Twilight Sparkle: I'm not much help, am I?
Starlight Glimmer: No!
Starlight Glimmer: Wow. I almost feel bad eating this. It's adorable.
Princess Celestia: Like I said, I enjoy this part.
[door opens]
Princess Luna: [sourly, mouth full] Hi.
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, Princess Luna! Wait! [deep breath] As you both know, the map sent me here for a reason, and I... think I found out what it is.
Princess Celestia: Really? Oh, that is wonderful, Starlight! What is it?
Starlight Glimmer: You two.
Princess Celestia: Excuse me?
Princess Luna: [simultaneous] I beg your pardon?
Starlight Glimmer: I think you're accidentally hurting each other's feelings without realizing it. Princess Celestia, does it bother you that Luna never notices the wonderful breakfasts that you prepare for her?
Princess Celestia: Uh... Y-Yes. It does.
Starlight Glimmer: Princess Luna, tell Celestia how you feel about the fact that she never acknowledges the work you put into lining the hallway with lavender every night.
Princess Luna: I... Well, I... I-It's not the best feeling. [to Celestia] I'm sorry I never noticed that you make fruit faces on pancakes, but nights are long for me. You might be a morning pony, but I am half-asleep.
Princess Celestia: You think I don't get tired? I'm exhausted! Oh, I apologize for not noticing flowers in a wall sconce. But by the time I get to retire for the night, I can barely see straight! Even so, I still make an effort to smile!
Princess Luna: Like smiling is so hard.
Starlight Glimmer: I-I-I'm sure that's not what Princess Luna meant to say.
Princess Luna: Is that what exhausts you? Smiling and being adored by everypony?
Princess Celestia: And you have it so much worse, do you?! You've spent your evenings flitting around giving ponies lovely dreams! Oh, it sounds just awful!
Starlight Glimmer: [chuckles] Okay! I feel like we should step back, take a deep breath...
Princess Luna: Don't presume to know what it is like to govern the dream realm!
Princess Celestia: And yet you know exactly what it's like to be me?! Oh, please!
Starlight Glimmer: Enough!
[shimmering magic sounds]
Starlight Glimmer: There! Now you'll know exactly what it's like to... be each other. [gulp]
Princess Celestia: [gasps] What have you done?!
Starlight Glimmer: I... went with my gut?
Princess Luna: Switch our cutie marks back this instant!
Starlight Glimmer: My apologies, your majesties! But I can't, even if I wanted to. The spell lasts twenty-four hours. I-It may have been extreme, but, uh, I think it's still a good idea?
Princess Celestia: [serious] What?
Starlight Glimmer: Y-You said it yourselves! Neither of you believes your sister knows how hard it is to be you. So this is your chance to prove it.
Princess Luna: Well, I could use an easy day followed by a good night's sleep.
Princess Celestia: You can try. I haven't had an easy day in, well, ever! But now, I get to sleep, and tonight will be a breeze. All right, Starlight Glimmer. We will do this.
Starlight Glimmer: Good choice! Not that you had one. [chuckles]
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna: [snort]
Starlight Glimmer: I'm gonna stop talking now.
Twilight Sparkle: [hyperventilating] You switched their cutie marks?! The actual princesses' cutie marks?!
Starlight Glimmer: [groans] I thought we moved past this. It was the right call! I hope.
Twilight Sparkle: [hyperventilating]
[pounding on door]
Guard: Are you okay in there?
Starlight Glimmer: I-I'm good! Just, uh... reading an exciting book! [whispering to Twilight] He's gonna think I'm nuts!
Twilight Sparkle: He's not the only one.
[drawer opens]
[drawer slams]
Princess Luna: As you can see, Celestia and I are switching places today.
[confused murmuring]
Princess Luna: I assure you, I am more than capable of handling all of Celestia's, heh, duties. Dismissed.
[nervous murmuring]
Princess Luna: So, what is first on my dear sister's to-do list?
Starlight Glimmer: It says you have a few public appearances. Store openings, judging the royal rose contest... You know, that sort of thing.
Princess Luna: [chuckles] Oh, I knew today would be easy, but I didn't think it would be that easy.
[happy montage music]
[scissors clipping]
Princess Luna: [sniffing]
Princess Luna: [creaking]
[camera clicks]
Princess Luna: "Princess Luna Unhappy with Student Fundraiser"? But I wasn't unhappy!
Starlight Glimmer: Um, you are scowling.
Princess Luna: Well, I-I didn't mean to! I've been smiling all day! My cheeks hurt! I stopped for one second! And that's when he took the picture!
Starlight Glimmer: Guess smiling all day isn't as easy as you thought?
Princess Luna: It says here that, because of me, the school didn't raise enough funds to go on their field trip! I-I didn't mean for that to happen!
Starlight Glimmer: I know. But you can't dwell on that now. According to the list, some delegates are about to arrive for a luncheon. You need to dispel rumors of timberwolves in the White Tail Woods. The nearby towns have been in a state of panic for weeks.
Princess Luna: B-B-But I have to fix this!
Starlight Glimmer: You can't. You need to put on a brave face and help these ponies. It's what Celestia would do.
[door opens]
Princess Luna: [deep breath, shouting] Hello! Great news! There are no timberwolves!
Delegate Ponies: No, there are definitely timberwolves!
Princess Luna: I'm sorry. But I couldn't stop thinking about those poor students. Normally, I have all the time in solitude I need to work through my problems at my own pace.
Starlight Glimmer: Well, your sister doesn't get that luxury.
Mayor Cream Cheese: [muffled] The princess will definitely side with me!
Mayor Baltimare: [simultaneous, muffled] Please see reason, Mayor Cream Cheese! I'm telling you, Baltimare...
Starlight Glimmer: Ready for the town hall?
Princess Luna: [sighs]
Mayor Cream Cheese and Mayor Baltimare: [continued arguing]
Mayor Baltimare: Glad that's settled.
Mayor Cream Cheese: [chuckles] And it only took three hours.
Mayor Baltimare: That got heated, didn't it?
Mayor Cream Cheese: Still on for golf?
Mayor Baltimare: Oh, absolutely.
Mayor Cream Cheese: [chuckles]
Starlight Glimmer: You made it to the end of the day. Yay?
Princess Luna: Hmm? Oh. Yes, uh... [yawns] I'm just going to turn in, then. Good light, Starnight. [yawns]
Princess Celestia: Oh, hello, Starlight. I don't know about you, but I feel very well-rested. Where's Luna?
Starlight Glimmer: Um, uh, she already turned in for the night.
Princess Celestia: Did she now? It seems my duties were harder than my sister expected.
Princess Celestia: Moon raised! It's even easier than raising the sun. [chuckles] What's next?
Starlight Glimmer: [snoring]
Princess Celestia: Of course. Everypony's asleep at night. Heh. Luna works alone... Oh, but it's nothing I can't handle. All I have to do is watch over Equestria, visit the dream realm, and protect ponies in their nightmares. My list was three times as long! [chuckles]
[lightswitches clicking]
Princess Celestia: All right. Everypony's asleep. You're talking to yourself, Celestia. Heh. But there's nopony else to talk to! [chuckles] Yet. I can talk to ponies in their dreams!
[whimsical music]
Princess Celestia: Now, to save some ponies from their nightmares. Which aren't real, so it shouldn't be too hard, right? Right. Good call, Celestia! And I'm talking to myself again.
Starlight Glimmer: [screaming]
Pancakes: [in Celestia's voice] I care. I care. I care. [distorted] I care.
Starlight Glimmer: [screaming] Ugh! No!
Twilight Sparkle: This is big! Like, really big!
Starlight Glimmer: [yelping]
Princess Celestia: Starlight! I'm here now. Tell me what's wrong.
Starlight Glimmer: [panting] Going with my gut was the wrong call! I was supposed to bring you two closer together! But I've only driven you apart! If you two can't see why you need each other, then—!
Nightmare Moon: Then I am back! [laughing evilly]
Princess Celestia: Don't worry, Starlight. I know how to handle Nightmare Moon.
Daybreaker: Yes! But can you handle... me?! [laughing evilly]
Daybreaker: [laughing evilly]
Princess Celestia: This can't be!
Daybreaker: If Luna can turn into Nightmare Moon, you can absolutely turn into me — Daybreaker! The better, prettier, and more powerful version of you!
Princess Celestia: No! I'll never turn into you!
Daybreaker: Deep inside, you know how powerful you are. You don't need Luna.
Princess Celestia: That's not true! Even when we were apart, I knew I needed her!
Daybreaker: [laughs] Oh, please! You don't need anypony! You can do whatever you want. And all you have to do is get rid of anypony who stands in your way!
[magic zap]
Daybreaker: I never should've banished you to the moon! I should've destroyed you!
Starlight Glimmer: No, you can't do that! Day, night, sun, moon — Equestria needs both of you!
[magic zap]
Starlight Glimmer: Without balance, there's no harmony!
Nightmare Moon: [growls]
Daybreaker: Who needs balance when you can have it all?! [laughs]
[magic zap]
Daybreaker: Ugh!
Nightmare Moon: You can't get rid of me so easily, sister! Unless you plan on smiling me to smithereens!
Princess Celestia: Enough!
Daybreaker: [laughs] I told you I was more powerful than you!
[magic humming]
Daybreaker: Ugh. So much black. We get it. You're sad. You could really use some... sun!
[flames roaring]
Starlight Glimmer: [gasps]
[shimmering magic sounds]
[flames roaring]
Princess Celestia and Starlight Glimmer: [grunting]
Starlight Glimmer: This is all my fault! I never should've gone on this mission! Now Equestria is doomed!
Dream Ponies: [singsongy] That smile's too wide... It's obviously not real...
Dream Pony: Why don't you want us to go on our field trip?
Princess Luna: [through teeth gaps] I don't...!
[teeth clattering]
Princess Luna: I mean, I do!
Dream Ponies: [singsongy] That smile's too wide... It's obviously not real...
Princess Luna: Celestia! I'm so glad you're...!
[magic zaps]
Princess Luna: [speaking normally] I've seen a lot, but I haven't seen this before.
Princess Celestia: It's Starlight Glimmer's. She's afraid this is what will happen if we continue to fight!
Starlight Glimmer: [sobbing] What was I thinking?! I'm never going with my gut again!
Princess Luna: If you don't fix this soon, it could have a grave consequence on Starlight's psyche.
Princess Celestia: But my magic isn't powerful enough! I thought if we worked together...!
Princess Luna: I have your magic, remember? It doesn't work in the dream realm. It has to be you!
Princess Celestia: Oh, Luna, I can't do this! I was wrong! Your job is so incredibly hard! You have to battle nightmares and work in the darkness and do it all alone! It takes such a brave, strong pony to do what you do!
Princess Luna: And that pony is you. I walked a day in your shoes. I thought all you had to do was smile and be adored all the time, but I was wrong. There is so much more to it than that.
Daybreaker: [laughing maniacally]
[magic zaps]
Nightmare Moon: [screams] Ugh!
Daybreaker: [laughing maniacally]
[flames roaring]
Starlight Glimmer: Don't do this to each other!
Princess Luna: In order to defeat Daybreaker, you need only to trust in your strength as I do.
[magic zaps]
Daybreaker: You can't destroy me! I'm everything you want to be!
Princess Celestia: No, you're not! You are not real, and you will never exist again!
Daybreaker: [groans]
Princess Luna: You did it!
Princess Celestia: Only because you were here. I don't know how you do this alone.
Princess Luna: So, um, did you talk to yourself?
Princess Celestia: Um, a little.
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna: [laughing]
Starlight Glimmer: Is this really happening, or is this still a dream?
Princess Luna: Welcome back, sister! I know you had a long night, so I made you some pancakes!
Princess Celestia: Oh! Heh. H-How... eh, nice. Ahem. [chews, gags, gulps] They're... delicious. Heh. Thank you.
Princess Luna: [laughs] I know that face! They're not. I know you have to be perfect for everypony else, and you do an amazing job. But you don't have to do it for me.
Princess Celestia: In that case, they are terrible!
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna: [laughing]
Princess Luna: I know!
Princess Celestia: [sighs] But it means a lot that you tried. I love you, sister.
Princess Luna: I love you too.
Starlight Glimmer: So... this was real. [yawns] Or... was it not real, and this just happened now and-and not in my dream? I'm so confused.
Princess Celestia: [laughing] It's all real. It was the right call going with your gut.
Princess Luna: The map was wise to send you, Starlight. Nopony else would have been so bold as to do what you did.
Starlight Glimmer: That's a nice way of saying I came dangerously close to messing everything up.
Princess Celestia: It was just what we needed. The experience has made us closer than ever.
[shimmering magic sounds]
Starlight Glimmer: Wait. I'm not doing this.
[cutie mark ringing]
Princess Celestia: I believe that one means your mission is complete.
Starlight Glimmer: Wow! I can't wait to tell Twilight!
[teleportation zap]
Twilight Sparkle: [quickly] I already know! I mean, I don't know everything. I just got here to bring you your toothbrush! So this is just a friendly visit! Not interfering because I was worried! I wasn't! I knew you could do it, and I'm so, so, so, so, so proud of you! Tell me everything! Start from after I hyperventilated, and don't leave out any details!
Princess Luna: Oh, uh, by the way, there's a field trip you need to make happen and a – ahem – timberwolf issue you need to address.
Princess Celestia: W-What?
Princess Luna: Oh! Look! There's the sun! Time for me to turn in!